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Clockwork Heart (Clockwork Heart #1)

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3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  1,270 ratings  ·  150 reviews
A steampunkish romantic fantasy set in Ondinium, a city that beats to the ticking of a clockwork heart. Taya, a metal-winged courier, can travel freely across the city's sectors and mingle indiscriminately among its castes. A daring mid-air rescue leads to involvement with two scions of an upperclass family and entanglement in a web of terrorism, loyalty, murder, and secre ...more
Paperback, 390 pages
Published March 18th 2008 by Juno Books (first published March 1st 2008)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Gail Carriger
Gail's Review:

I enjoyed this book very much, particularly for the main character's personality and the world-building. I wouldn't call it primarily romance (although people keep categorizing it as such), although it has a strong romantic thread. Not that I object to romances, just that I didn't feel like the romance drove the plot. In fact, I think it a pretty clean mix of steampunk alternate (future?) world (and a beautifully well built one at that) meets light romance (don't expect nookie), me
...more
Janina
Well. It took me quite a while to finish this book, and although it wasn't bad at all, I have to say that it didn't really manage to hold my attention for longer spans of time. I would read a chapter or two and then be absolutely content with putting the book away. Sometimes, I even found myself leafing through the book to see how many pages I had until the next chapter break. This is normally not a good sign. I also thought that some passages would have needed a good editor.

At the same time, th
...more
LiteraryLover
I really liked this book a lot. The world building was interesting and the writing was excellent. It doesn't have a lot of action going on, but I was still glued to the pages. It almost reminded me a little of Tamora Pierce's writing, only replace a little magic with a little steampunk. My only complaint is towards the end, it sort of felt like Taya (the main character) was sort of pulled from one thing to another and it felt kind of disjointed. The romance was really sweet though and the author ...more
Auntie J
*** Review available by request for those on my Friend list ***
oliviasbooks
The first 300 pages I would have rated 4-5 stars, the last 70 or 80 only 3. [downgraded in hindsight from 4 stars to only 3 five months later, because the book faded so quickly from my mind.] Maybe I'll have the time to write a proper review later on, but I quickly state my reasons for the downgrading now:
- The solving of the crime was quite unorganized, zickzacky and holey. I had the impression as if the author had to bridge a big gap between the wonderful first three quarters of the plot and t
...more
Brian
steampunkish romance novel, without much romance...or steampunk. basically, this is set in a steampunk world and the main character is an icarus. she dons wings made of the metal ondinium, metal lighter than air. which helps them fly around. her caste is the only one that can interact with the other three and are rumoured to be very promiscuous.

this book is dialogue driven, which is okay, but three pages of straight dialogue sometimes gets confusing cuz i didnt know who was saying what...i was j
...more
Hannah
I am beyond glad that I picked up this book in my recent enthusiasm for steampunk; to my pleasant surprise, it turned out to be absolutely delightful and left me with a warm sense of satisfaction. I was torn between giving it the full 5 stars or docking points because the mystery of the Great Engine and the threats against Ondinium could have been better set up. As far as characters, worldbuilding and the enjoyment I got from the story, however? Dru Pagliassotti nailed it on the head on all coun ...more
Maureen E
by Dru Pagliossotti

The story of Taya, the icarus (basically just a winged messenger), and the unexpected turns her life takes after she rescues an Exalted.

I wasn’t expecting to love this book. The cover art was bad, it seemed like it might veer in a kind of trashy direction. Anyway, whatever the reasons, I was expecting to read it and not be highly impressed.

I was wrong. While it never astounded it me, it was an entirely enjoyable story, with some very well-written bits. I especially enjoyed the
...more
Ita
Two thirds of the way into the book, when the heroine has discovered who the villain is and that he has murdered several people, the villain asks the heroine to lie for him, to corroborate his version of events. He is high caste, good looking, charming. He can guarantee that her career advances.

Right answer:
Yes, that's a good idea. I find you sexy and I appreciate that you will help me in my career. (She surreptitiously unsheathes her knife so she can stab him and get away).

Wrong answer:
Never! I
...more
Angie
This debut novel by Dru Pagliassotti is being billed as a steampunk romance/urban fantasy. And it is all of these. But it transcends each of them as well, making it IMO an incredibly enjoyable cross-genre read. I'm sitting here trying to think of someone I wouldn't recommend this book to and I'm coming up blank.

Taya is an icarus--a member of the messenger class. Every day she straps on a pair of metal wings and soars across the city of Ondinium delivering messages. Life in Ondinium is extremely
...more
Mara
2 1/2
A great world-building and a nice plot didn't save this book from being nothing more than an ok read for me. Characters were both unbelievable and incoherent. They were flat, and sounded way too young for the age and role they portayed, too.

In many reviews you'll read how absurd the setup was, and unfortunately I cannot disagree. It takes a lot of strength on an author's writing to pass off a USP delivery guy as a detective, and this is what the author attempted. She worsened the situation
...more
Oddmonster
Once I got past the fact that the figure on the cover, shirt open to her navel, in no way resembles Taya Icarus (who dresses modestly unless kidnapped by Jayce the rogue straight n’ sassy dressmaker, and who has short, curly hair which makes sense for stuffing under a flight cap), I was able to enjoy the dickens out of this book.

But I’ll admit I’m picky that way.

There’s really so much to like about this book, and it made me wish that English had a word for re-reading a book you tend to think of
...more
Kari Chapman
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Liviu
Very entertaining steampunk adventure with a dash of romance and mystery.

Ondinium is a city powered by the magic substance that gives its name, has a powerful calculating engine at its heart, and is divided in 3 caste areas at 3 levels on a mountain, one per caste, higher up of course, with the powerful "exalted" actually hedged by so many traditions and customs - in public they cannot show their faces, they have to wear some kind of robes - that the more rebellious ones go outcaste to have th
...more
Kat  Hooper
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

The city of Ondinium clings to the side of a mountain where the rare and precious metal that the city is named for is mined. This substance is lighter than air and is used to create the marvels that the city is known for, including the huge clockwork engine that lives in the heart of the mountain. The castes of Ondinium live on separate tiers of the mountain with the lower castes occupying the sooty smog-filled expanse at the bottom. But Taya, whose family
...more
Chachic
Originally posted here.

I was confused for the first few pages of Clockwork Heart because it took me a while to be fully immersed in the worldbuilding and to understand the terms that go with it. This steampunk novel is set in a fictional country where there's a strict caste system. Only the icarii, couriers who can fly using metal wings, can move freely across all castes. It's funny because I'm afraid of heights but I would love to try flying using those icarus wings. Taya is an icarus who sudde
...more
Janice (Janicu)
http://janicu.livejournal.com/69341.html

I'd seen this book mentioned a couple of times online but for some reason I had labelled it in my mind as not so intriguing until I read a review at the Book Smugglers blog (they gave it a 9 - "damn near perfection"). I put it on my books to read list at that point but I wasn't salivating over it like some other books.

A couple of weekends ago, my husband and I decided to go for a walk and ended up at Barnes and Noble. I saw a copy of Clockwork Heart and pi
...more
Toni (U.A.C.)
Taya is an Icarus. Her job is to courier messages. While on her way to make a delivery she ends up rescuing an Exalted and her son from a damaged high wire transport. After being interviewed by the authorities, it appears that the damage was no accident. Soon she can no longer tell who is friend and who is enemy and all she can do is be eyes and ears for her government, to help them solve who is behind these terrorist activities.

Plot: Very Nice
Character Development: Great
Smoking Sex Scenes: Non-
...more
Jann
I never knew they had a new genre of books called Steam Punk. I picked up this book to see what it was about...and I loved it. I like the story line and the characters. The world development was interesting. It was a mix of different cultural elements without being confusing or unbelievable. I liked how things are not as they all seem, and the book was a little mystery, adventure, and romance. It was a light fun read.
Ralph
We live our lives between set boundaries, some established by the society in which we live, but most set by ourselves, caught between fear and faith, strength and comfort. When we are overwhelmed by events larger than our own lives, we either retreat to the safety of our own self-imposed limitations or rise above our perceived weaknesses, changing not only our fates but perhaps the destinies of everyone around us, and, in doing so, become someone stronger than we ever thought possible. Such is t ...more
edifanob
My impressions:

Two men, even brothers, struggle for one woman in a steampunk world including sleuth.
This isn't a fast pace story. But it contains action, romance and a good world building.

Karissa
This is the first book in the Clockwork Heart trilogy by Pagliassotti. I have had this book in my to read pile for a very long time and was excited to finally get around to reading it. It was a very enjoyable steampunk fantasy with a lot of mystery and some romance.

I listened to this on audiobook and it was well done. The narrator did an excellent job of conveying emotion and I enjoyed her voice. There were a few spots where it was hard to tell who was talking (the voices just weren’t different
...more
Aaron
There's a reason I've been hearing good things about this book. It's a rich fantasy world with new races of mankind to learn about, a strict caste system (very steampunk), great tech (steampunk), goggles galore (steampunk), mysterious element that defies gravity (reminiscent of the late, great Wells' "cavorite", which is steampunk), and a logic to it all that makes it fit like a glove, er, cog.

The characters are all realized and each has a well defined motivation etc. etc. The protagonist is a l
...more
Syahira Sharif
I didn't think I'd enjoy a heavy steampunk book with a lot of mystery elements and slight romance element in it. I can't say this book was explicitly a romance title despite the blurb hinted it so but I enjoyed the worldbuilding more from the tiered city to the people and its caste and politics and also the mystery. Sort of like reading a Final Fantasy 9 story.

I'm not sure this is considerably a light reading material but the concept is really good although the plot was a tad predictable and som
...more
Maria
Apr 27, 2011 Maria rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Maria by: Suzanne Lazear
A Clockwork Heart takes place on a different world, one in which there are massive city-states and competing political systems that keep citizens very aware of complex loyalties and the possibility of conflict. Of the city states introduced Ondinium is the most stable and secure: After nearly being destroyed by war two centuries prior, the rulers of Ondinium have created a vast difference machine, known as the Great Engine, to regulate the running of the city and the choices that are made with r ...more
Samantha
I enjoyed Clockwork Heart for the most part, but must say that it just did not live up to all my expectations. Taya is an icarus in the country of Ondinium, where she flies on metal wings as a courier. Ondinium is definitely a character in its own right as Dru Pagliassotti does an amazing job at world building. Ondinium is a caste-society that enjoys many advances in technology that its neighbors don't possess. The major being the Great Engine which serves a multitude of purposes. After one seem ...more
Lydia Presley
My first Steampunk novel was Boneshaker by Cherie Priest. I fell in love with the genre right then and there. Then I read Scott Westerfield's Leviathan and knew that it wasn't a fluke. I was officially smitten.

I put Clockwork Heart on my to be read list because first, I loved the cover and second, steampunk, um.. yes! I wasn't disappointed, and in fact was pleasantly surprised.

This was a pleasant mix of romance, mystery and steampunk. There were gadgets galore (even one to predict the perfect ma
...more
Katrina Patton
I know it sounds stupid but I abandoned this book 60 pages from the end. Why? Because there was no reason to finish. The way to kill the plot is to give the readers what they want before the actual end has arrived. The bad guy was caught and the two people who acted as romantic partners for each other had already kissed. Everything after that dragged on and on. I'm sure something else dramatic must happen in the final pages but honestly, after the 'climax' of the book had been reached, which, ho ...more
Hallie
I liked this three and a half stars' worth, really! I can see what Hirondelle meant by its having a bit of a Martha Wells' feeling, in an interesting world-building. But is it the first in a trilogy or series? It felt as if there were loose threads hanging out of that world-building all over, and they were ones I'd like to see followed up.

I liked the characters quite a lot, and as I liked the right one of two from the beginning, wasn't disappointed in the romance! A nice mixture of technology,
...more
Paul
This fantasy/romance tale takes place in a very stratified society.

Taya is an icarus, a courier (with metal wings) who can move freely between the social classes in the city of Ondinium. A person's class is tattooed on their forehead; only through reincarnation can a person rise in class.

One day, Taya saves an Exalted (members of the elite class) and her son from what could have been a mid-air disaster. There is a growing terrorism problem in Ondinium; was this their handiwork? Her heroism attra
...more
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Gail Carriger Fan...: August Read: Clockwork Heart by Dru Pagliassotti (Adult) 23 58 Sep 06, 2014 09:42AM  
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Dru Pagliassotti is a writer in the genres of steampunk, horror, and fantasy. She's also a professor of communication at California Lutheran University, where she keeps her colleagues guessing by teaching courses on Venetian culture and comic books and by researching subjects such as yaoi and steampunk webcomics.

More about Dru Pagliassotti...

Other Books in the Series

Clockwork Heart (3 books)
  • Clockwork Lies: Iron Wind (Clockwork Heart, #2)
  • Clockwork Secrets: Heavy Fire (Clockwork Heart, #3)
Clockwork Lies: Iron Wind (Clockwork Heart, #2) Clockwork Secrets: Heavy Fire (Clockwork Heart, #3) An Agreement with Hell After the Sleep Corsets & Clockwork: 13 Steampunk Romances

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“There ain't a man in the world cares about a woman's past until he's thinking of her in his future.” 42 likes
“A clockwork heart can't replace the real thing.” 28 likes
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